Franz Ferdinand's self-titled debut was my favourite album of last year, so I had to buy the Scottish band's You Could Have It So Much Better follow-up when it came out last week to see how it compared. I'm happy to say that the formula hasn't changed too much, so, if you liked the first one, you'll like this. But since bands like the Kaiser Chiefs and The Bravery have released albums this year that seemed to borrow from Franz Ferdinand (which itself borrowed heavily from the likes of Wire, XTC and Talking Heads), the new songs didn't spur the immediate excitement that those on the first album did.
The quite wordy opening track, Fallen, is more guitar-heavy than expected at the beginning, but then gets into the familiar Franz pattern. The title track is more aggressive than anything on the first album, while Walk Away, Eleanor Put Your Boots On and Fade Together (which primarily revolves around acoustic guitar and piano) are all slower.
You Could Have It So didn't have the impact of Franz Ferdinand upon first listen, but its overall consistency will no doubt make it a top 10 album of the year for me.
np The Raveonettes - Pretty In Black